Socio-Political Islam & Revivalism in Malaysia

Mansoureh Ebrahimi, Kamaruzaman Yusoff


Muslims have responded to modernism with various forms of revivalism that emphasized social development. Malaysia’s response began in 1955: “The supreme law of the country, the Federal Constitution, the Constitution, or the State Constitution, declared Islam the official religion in Malaysia†(Razak 2016, 5). The government built two roads to pluralism: (1) the socio-political highway (e.g., teachers of Islam were licensed by an official religious department); (2) understanding Islam with official approaches to al-Qur’an and al-Hadith. This paper attempts to answer two questions: (1) What reality rather than interpretation of pluralism guided their social institutions? and (2) What socio-political dimensions and Islamic movements influenced and/or reinforced ‘Malaysian’ versus ‘Malay Muslim’ identity? The author explores perceptions of radicalism vs. moderation (wasatiyyah) by highlighting intellectual frameworks demonstrate elements of radical-political Islam in support of moderation leading to Islamic revivalism.


Islamic Revivalism (ihya’), socio-political domains, radical-political Islam, Moderation (wasatiyyah), Islamic radicalism, Malaysia.

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